The Gender & Sexuality Issue

Graphic Paku Daoust-Cloutier

Human beings seem to like dualities.

We like dichotomies. Good/bad. Black/white. Yes/no.

Life is easier to navigate that way. But binaries don’t always slip so neatly onto human affairs, however much we’d like them to. In this special issue, we look at man/woman and gay/straight.

Increasingly, these binaries are failing to define the full spectrum of our experiences, and failing to deliver full, whole pictures of our lives. And not only do they fail to inform us of the world we live in, they can also limit and shame people who don’t fit into these standards.

Gender roles and expectations place boundaries on what people can do, can feel comfortable doing, or can be respected and applauded for doing. Society’s need for a world that’s understandable at face value has been limiting everyone’s right to be who they really are for too long.

The Link used to publish a Women’s Issue and a Queer Issue separately. But as questions of gender and sexuality become more and more questions of spectrum, not binary, we thought it made sense to combine the two.

So what if there was another way? What if our future had new pronouns, new horizons and new expectations?

What if we redefined ‘normal’ in terms that had nothing to do with sexual orientation or a gendered presentation?

What if we couldn’t assume someone’s preferences based on the way they carried themselves? What if some people were rewriting the rules in our society’s sexual rulebook? What if we were cheering on athletes who were tough and queer at the same time? What if we stopped expecting someone to be one gender or the other? What if women weren’t valued based on their chastity and people’s sexual orientation was never assumed?

What if everything was fluid?

—Elysha del Giusto-Enos and Alex Manley,
Gender & Sexuality Issue Coordinators